Before you pull out the tissue paper, remember: Astronomy is in itself a "black hole" until the practitioner dedicates his or her life to the science. I'm talking Galileo levels of devotion - equivalent to an individual spending every iota of their being in a research container. If that doesn't apply to you directly, then maybe the whole issue of Pluto losing its atmospheric bubble won't be too disheartening. As it stands, scientists are predicting the collapse of the one-time planet in 11 year's time.

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An academic journal by the name of Astronomy and Astrophysics is leading the charge in "planet watching" as I like to call it. It's been said for years on end: Pluto wasn't deserving of its designation within the Solar System, so astronomers started labeling it a "dwarf planet," before the A and A periodical and other concurrent philosophers started making their feelings known in the press.

"What the study found was when Pluto is farthest away from the Sun, and during its Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, nitrogen freezes out of the atmosphere," wrote Andrew Cole, the author of the study overlooking Pluto's planetary demise. "The atmospheric pressure has tripled over the past three decades, but as the planet orbits, our modeling showed that most of the atmosphere would condense out to almost nothing left."

At the heart of Andrew Cole's written to the Planet lovers the world over, the researcher issued an expiration date of 2030, 11 years down the line, for the complete and utter collapse of Pluto's atmospheric bubble. Interestingly enough, if Pluto does fall into hard times as expected, Earthlings will have an easier time making it out with their telescope, by process of its nitrogen frost vanishing into the abyss.

[Via]